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Shoppers and commuters in the near future might be able ride an autonomous shuttle bus between Merrifield’s Mosaic District and the Dunn Loring Metrorail Station, under a pilot program being pursued by Fairfax County.

State officials approached the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority about conducting the project, Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) told the Greater Merrifield Business Association at its Feb. 13 luncheon. 

“We have filed the paperwork for the grant,” she said. “It’s going to be on a pretty fast track if we get it.”

County officials selected Merrifield for the program because state officials “wanted something that would be a real transportation project, not a toy,” she said.

Those in the public who are queasy about being ferried between locations by an autonomous vehicle can rest assured, as an operator will be inside at all times, Smyth said.

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